In this week's edition of Letter to my Farmers, Babatunde Olarewaju explains the importance of group farming, especially in light of COVID-19 and the upcoming wet season in Nigeria. Sharing the cost of equipment and machinery (such as tractors) is an important and easy way to maximise productivity and decrease costs within farming communities and cooperatives.
This is the period to work together as a team rather than working as an individual.As we approach the rainy season in the Southern part of Nigeria (rain has already started in some parts of the region), we need to strategize and find a way to optimize our production (especially the cost of production, which is higher than previous years).
First and foremost, we need to utilize the value of associations or groups that we belong to. This is the period to work together as a team rather than working as an individual. In the procurement of inputs (especially similar inputs), group purchases help to reduce cost, which is very key to maximizing profits as smallholder farmers (SHFs). Also, for land preparation (land clearing, ploughing, or harrowing as the case maybe), SHFs should adopt the use of group services, especially those using tractor services. It is very essential that farmers' cooperatives incorporate this incentive to their members' packages annually. This helps SHFs to spend less on land preparation and hiring tractor services as an individual farmer.
group purchases help to reduce cost, which is very key to maximizing profits as smallholder farmers (SHFs)Also, land preparation is very key to the overall productivity of the crops, thus, ensure you use professional tractor service providers, who understand the nitty gritty details of land preparation operations. It is not about using ANY tractor or machine to carry out operations on the farm. There are principles that should be followed based on the nature of your soil and the land in general. This is very important for organizations who are into cluster farming and are involved in land preparation for their farmers.
In conclusion, I am optimistic that this season will be very fruitful and the incidence of flooding might be minimal compared to the previous wet season.
So, remain focused, encouraged and optimistic. It shall be a bountiful season!
In his weekly column Letter to my Farmers, Babatunde Olarewajo writes about personal experiences and insights on farming, curated through working with smallholder farmers in Africa. Last week's letter is available here.